After Sprint’s first quarter report was released today the stock took a brief jump, and is sitting at 1.6 points (up) at this time. Why the slight improvement? Largely due to the increased uptake on new subscribers, largely due to the iPhone. Sprint reports 1.5 million iPhones sold in the first quarter, up almost 200% from last quarter. Of those about 44% were sold to new subscribers.
Sprint is still running $255 million in operating loss, but things are looking up. Generating almost $138 million in free flow cash in the first quarter, in addition to $2 billion in additional financing for Network Vision and debt payments is a good sign. With less than $2 billion in debt payments to be made by October and a total liquidity of $8.8 billion bankruptcy talk is a thing of the past.
Network vision is progressing nicely. Six markets are on the cusp of LTE switching on, and iDen markets are being switched off at a breakneck pace. With over 12,000 LTE cell sites scheduled to be online by the end of the year it is a good time to be with Sprint, after years of languishing in WiMax also-ran 4G land.
Clearly consumers are seeing the value of unlimited data. And with the recent changes to accept warranty defects from rooted devices, Sprint is positioning itself as the place for users who actually use their smart phones.
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